A protest last week by Hanover residents over the deplorable condition of sections of the main road that passes through Shettlewood, Mackfield and Burnt Ground in that parish, which leads primarily to adjoining St James and Westmoreland, attracted a speedy response from the authorities.
But the people of the area insist that the wrong approach has been taken to fix the thoroughfare by those contracted to do it.
While the road, too, is being given some attention now, the people are still upset that they had to protest and block it before steps could be taken to correct the long-standing problem.
“We are all Jamaicans. We shouldn’t have to protest to get things done. Everybody pays taxes. Our political representatives are not going on with anything. Our Member of Parliament is Dave Brown. The next time, if he is running, we doubt he will get 10 votes based on how serious the problem is,” one man expressed to the Jamaica Observer during a visit to the area.
He pointed out that the road condition caused accidents every week because potholes force motorists to drive on the wrong side of the road.
“If you notice, most of the cars going down, they drive on the right side and not the left side because if they drive on the other side, their front-end parts mash up. Just look at the road and this is the main road between Montego Bay and Savanna-la-Mar. This is a big embarrassment to the Government,” he added.
Another resident, who said he is the operator of a hotel in Hanover, said it was in his best interest to see the road fixed, but insisted that the authorities do it properly.
“They are not fixing the road properly. The road needs to be lifted at least three feet. If not, this makes no sense. When the water come in the road, it is like a river and then the road mash up again. The road is too flat. It won’t make no sense,” the man said as he watched the road being dug up by workers using heavy-duty equipment as part of the process before it is repaved.
When the Sunday Observer visited the area last week, sections of the roadway were already scraped, levelled and ready for resurfacing.
One man theorised that it was people playing politics, that caused such a speedy response after the protest. According to him, even the blocking of roads was politically motivated.
“Everything is politics. The protest itself was politics,” he said.
He shared that although the road work has started, he has no confidence that the fix will be long-lasting.
“They tried to fix it many times before, but dem naa fix it good. The whole thing want to resurface. They need to bring in China Harbour Engineering Company,” the Hanover resident said.
“The work started the day after the protest. We had to protest because the front-end parts pon people car nuh get nuh ease up. I had a bus on the road and had to take it off because I wasn’t really making any money. Every week I had to find parts.
“To go through this road, we definitely have to drive slow. When you go further down you will see the real bad roads. Everybody a complain. You have people weh drive fi go airport to catch a flight and they have to leave out extremely early. A long time we a bawl,” he added.